Silk Touts Plant-Protein for Athletic Performance and Recovery

Danone brand Silk has debuted a new marketing campaign for new product Silk Ultra. The campaign features elite athletes Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman using Silk Ultra as part of their post-workout recovery. Two commercials intercut Phelps and Raisman working out with images of wild animals such as a gorilla, elephant, rhinoceros and ox. A voiceover explains that – like the beasts of the wild – the athletes get their protein from plants, in the form of Silk Ultra. 

High-protein doesn’t necessarily mean high-meat. As consumers show increased interest in including plant-based foods in their diets, one of the leaders in plant-based beverages, Danone brand Silk, is launching a high-protein line extension geared toward athletes and the athletic-minded. 

The new product, Silk Ultra, features 20 grams of protein per serving to aid with muscle recovery and repair, says Andrew Hartshorn, the brand’s Senior Vice President of plant-based food and beverages. That amount is 2.5 times the amount of protein found in traditional dairy milk. 

“There’s a misconception you can’t be strong and powerful on a plant-based diet. I think the ox and gorilla speak differently,” Hartshorn tells Brand Innovators.

A new marketing campaign for the product features elite athletes Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman using Silk Ultra as part of their post-workout recovery. Two commercials intercut Phelps and Raisman working out with images of wild animals such as a gorilla, elephant, rhinoceros and ox. A voiceover explains that – like the beasts of the wild – the athletes get their protein from plants, in the form of Silk Ultra. 

“What’s great and unique about Michael and Aly is that they are known as elite athletes, but they’re not actively competing at the moment,” Hartshorn says. “They have a perspective that emphasizes their overall health and wellness.”

In addition to the two commercials, which will be running predominantly online and in streaming channels, Silk has enlisted the two athletes to lead consumers in two high-intensity workouts for the chance to win home workout equipment. To enter, consumers have to complete one of the two 10-minute workouts and share a post-workout “Sweaty Selfie” along with how plant-based food products help consumers achieve their best.

“Despite current challenges, athletes are still committed to their fitness goals—no matter where they are working out—and our new plant-based protein beverage Silk Ultra helps support their muscle maintenance and repair,” Hartshorn says. “Athletes shouldn’t have to compromise on taste, nutrition, or their home gym setup, and through [this sweepstakes], we’re giving active consumers a way to take their workouts to the next level.”


The product launch and promo are timed to capitalize on an increased consumer focus on health and wellness – and specifically the rise in home gyms and workouts – throughout the pandemic. “We’ve all experienced an increased emphasis and need to be well and exercise,” Hartshorn says. “People have become much more conscious about holistic wellness throughout the pandemic.”

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